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#1041 - Eating Local Fish
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Those of us who follow the eat local movement are dedicated to the seasonal harvest of produce from all over Maryland. But there is a lot of local food that doesn't come from a farmer's field. A lot of good things are swimming in our beloved Chesapeake Bay, and Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen has been getting to know them.
The champion fish of the bay is the Rockfish, or Striped Bass. This meaty, succulent fish is one of the world's finest, and represents a great alternative to the Chilean Sea Bass which is dangerously over-fished and nearing extinction.
One relative newcomer is the Blue Catfish, also known as the Channel Catfish. This is a fish that can get mighty big; the record is a whopping 80 pounds. It's a non-native invasive species that thrives in river mouths. It can be prepared like any other catfish.
The yellow perch is much smaller, with most individual weighing in around one pound. The fillets are very tasty and easily cooked. A simple approach is to dredge them in seasoned flour and quickly sauté in butter.
One notorious fish is gaining some acceptance in Maryland kitchens. The detested Snakehead, or the "Frankenfish" is actually a staple in Vietnam. Chefs here are bravely experimenting with it, treating it as if it were eel.